I Am Lost And Confused And Conflicted (this Is A Long One, Sorry!)

I have been with my husband for almost 15 years. Sex has never been our "greatest" connection. I have struggled with intimacy issues for as long as I can remember. Over the years, I have been to counseling to work some of these "issues" out, but I have never quite gotten passed them (or perhaps never figured out what the "real" issues are). And there have been times when I have been able to overcome my insecurities, relax and enjoy sex. But most of the time sex leaves me feeling inexperienced, insecure and self conscious (despite the pleasure I receive from it).

I think all the years of rejection/frustration/emotions took their toll on him because it has been about five years since my husband has been able to "perform". He says everything FEELS good and he is turned on, but can't seem to "make it work". Suddenly, HE is the one with struggling with issues. I have been understanding (it would be hypocritical for me not to be), but can't help feel rejected and unattractive.

About a year ago that I found a good counselor that really was able to better "dissect" my intimacy issues...not just discuss what I THOUGHT to be my problems. I feel like maybe it was too little too late. I was making an effort while I was going to counseling, but decided it couldn't continue to be one-sided all of them time (probably should have continued to counseling, huh?)

It has now been NINE MONTHS (which I know is probably less than some of you) since we have even attempted sex. I am not sure if either one of us sees the other in "that way" any more. Most of the time, when he touches me I cringe or back away. I think we both feel so rejected by the other that neither of us is willing to "chance it" anymore :(

Like many of you, I find myself desiring other people. Wanting to feel wanted and sexy. I have not had an affair, but I did "make out" with somone (stranger) awhile back. It was so exciting! I still think about him sometimes. I find myself envying people who are single. I pity people that are getting married.

Part of me wants to feel that desire for my husband again, but part of me just wants to be free to be with somone else!

Concurrently, over them same amount of years I have become much more independent in my life (since he works on the weekends). I spend a lot of time by myself or with our son. The more time I spend alone, the more I want to be alone. He was gone on a trip a few months and I did not miss him. As a matter of fact, I didn't particularly want him to return. I find myself not wanting to talk about him when he is not with me. I prefer people to think I am single (even though I wear a ring).

He really is a great person. I have read some of the posts about "the rejectors" not really being great because of the way they make us feel, but I don't believe he WANTS to reject me. And I still enjoy spending time with him. I like him being a part of my "home". I feel like we have a good "relationship", but not a good "marriage" anymore. And he seems to still be in love with me (he calls me his honey, says he loves me, said he missed me when he was gone). I know that with time and effort most marriages can be saved. I just wonder if either of us are willing/able to put in the effort (effort is not something either of us are great at).

I know I should talk to him about this, but there doesn't ever seem to be a "good" time. I keep saying "I will talk to him after x. After y. After z.", but there is always something to "wait" for. And when I feel "happy" with him, this all seems stupid. I think I am being "stubborn" and unwilling to open up to intimacy with him. I tell myself " Just go over and snuggle with him or hold his hand!", but I can't seem to "make" myself do.

I am conflicted, confused and scared. So, I do what I do best...avoid!

Thanks for reading :o) I am glad to know that I am not alone in this!!
netty22 netty22
6 Responses Sep 18, 2012

This is so sad. My sympathy goes to your husband, I feel he is the 'victim' here. Based on what you wrote, it is obvious that your marriage is over because you have no feelings for him anymore other than 'you like to have him around'.
Don't hurt him anymore, be honest with him about your feelings.

Your husband's perspective is what interests me. Seems like he is done with the marriage, he might have valid reasons.

This bit - "I know that with time and effort most marriages can be saved" requires challenging.<br />
<br />
On what basis do you make this claim ? And on what basis do you figure that your marriage would be one of these "most" ??<br />
<br />
Tread your own path.

Just came on to post about that claim... it's kind of like "I know with enough time and effort I could build my own spaceship and blast off to the moon from my backyard... if I could just figure out the physics and engineering skills, gather up the money, get myself in physical shape, change all the local by-laws to allow the construction, etc. etc etc..."

Hi..I am in a similar boat as you...and I REALLY understand your pain...of not wanting to jeopardize a stable marriage ...for sex. I'm married to this guy who is soo compatible for me...technically. We are great intellectually, same moral and life values and I really do love being with him... but the SEX... He just isnt as into it and I'm always the initiator.. its very hard for me to feel sexy around him anymore..as his lack of initiation makes me feel ugly. rejected. he has issues reaching climax and never does while having penetrative sex...its always a blow/*******.... but I keep feeling that..is that enuf of a reason to leave him ? and all this that we have built together ? he is loving and tender but just refuses to acknowledge this sexual issue. i'm scared,confused and conflicted myself... what if i never find anyone who accepts me as i am..like he has ? what if i realise its a huge mistake after leaving him ? what is am making a huge mistake NOT leaving him ? i feel sick in the pit of my stomach reading these stories...as they seem so real..
lately i have started talking to an ex...over chats n stuff.. and we talk a lot. its a release for me. i dont discuss all this with him but...i keep thinking of him..even sexually..
I hate myself :-( and I hate the thought of bringing shame to so many pple around us...
i'm tired of crying alone....atleast..u have a son . i dont have any kids..and might never have.

This was hard to read. I feel more sorry for him than you. You really do come off as lost. I don't want to insult you, and I guess I shouldn't even be commenting as I can add nothing supportive or constructive. You just sound like another one of the millions of people that figure out who they are at the expense of hurting others through a marriage. Just a tragedy all around as far as I can tell.

"It has now been NINE MONTHS..."

I think you should have said something after nine days.

When your husband goes away and you don't miss him, it's over. Really.

"I know that with time and effort most marriages can be saved."

You'd both have to be putting in a lot of effort to save this level of sexual disconnect. I hate to be a pessimist, but the stats for failed marriages tent to suggest that you'll have a real challenge trying to change your husband.